Lucrecia Martel's Zama (2017), set on the outer colonial frontiers of the Spanish Empire during the last decade of the eighteenth century, pushes traditional notions of a colonial adventure tale to its parodic limits. Martel's deliberate use of layered auditory and visual clues, including off-screen space and decentered compositions, creates a state of confusion that reproduces in viewers the anguish and incomprehension that plague her protagonist. Lucrecia Martel's Zama joins a small but impressive selection of recent Latin American films that challenge and often parody established ways of telling the colonial past, including the Brazilian films Joaquim (Marcelo Gomez, 2017) and Vazante (Daniela Thomas, 2017); Niles Attalah's Rey/King (Chile, 2017), and Jauja by Martel's compatriot Lisandro Alonso (2014). Martel's style makes the past entirely her own. Martel answers questions from the authors at length in this article.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.